We will come into your parish to work with you to plan and present a stewardship campaign, tailored to your specific needs.
Our financial stewardship campaigns are based on ‘TRIO’ – an acronym meaning ‘The Responsibility is Ours’. The focus of this programme is a presentation during the main Sunday service, which encourages members of the church family to consider God’s generosity to and to review their personal giving.
The presentation covers in a clear and concise way:
- Theological principles underlying stewardship
- Current income and expenditure
- What is needed to place the church on a firm financial footing
- Principles of proportionate giving
- An invitation to reflect on current giving patterns, and review existing commitments
To prepare for a campaign a small planning group will meet two or three times, with the support of the stewardship department. For further information please contact the stewardship department.
Parishes often say to us that they had a TRIO campaign some years ago and it was enormously successful, with significant increases in giving, but that since then the levels of giving have gradually fallen and there are now financial difficulties again. There are a number of reasons for falling income in a parish:
- People move away, leave the church or die
- New members of the church family don’t understand how the finances work, and how much is needed to maintain the building and its ministry.
- Having set up a standing order, many people don’t think about it again, and don’t amend their gift in line with inflation or changes in their own income
To maintain giving levels it is important that stewardship is an ongoing part of parish life, not just a big effort every few years in response to a dire financial forecast. Ideally every parish will have a Stewardship or Giving Officer, responsible for encouraging stewardship within the parish, but every parish should have an annual stewardship renewal with a designated Stewardship Sunday – most years this can be quite low key, with a bigger push every so often. A good way forward can be to work on a three year “cycle”: the first year to concentrate on finance alone, the second year to focus on Time and Talents and the third year to think about buildings. In each of second and third years this would include a gentle reminder/request for individuals to review their giving.
We are always very pleased to work with parishes on Stewardship Renewal initiatives, but it is quite possible for parishes to run their own Renewal programmes.
Stewardship Sunday concentrating on Finance
Do some teaching or preaching on themes of stewardship and giving. This can be either a series or simply a one-off sermon. Don’t talk specifics – this teaching should be more about theology than money.
Send out a letter and/or brochure setting out the parish’s financial needs, clearly and simply. It is important to include the following:
- ‘Thank you!’ Recognize and appreciate what people are doing already.
- ‘Our budget for the following year will rise by X%’ – show where the rises are and how much it means for each member of the church family per week.
- ‘We have some exciting things planned for the next year……’
- ‘Please pray about your giving, talk about it with members of you family and review what you are giving.’
- ‘Please fill in and return the response form, even if you are not changing the amount you give.’
It is important to be enthusiastic and positive about your church. People are more likely to increase their giving if they feel they are part of something good.
Think about listing the activities which your church engages with – people might be surprised to see just how much is going on. The list might include everything from Sunday services, baptisms and weddings to study groups, pastoral visiting, bell ringing or community links such as those with local schools.
When writing your letter think about your parish mission plan, and relate everything to that plan, and how the money will help achieve your goals.
We can offer as much or as little help as you wish in running these campaigns, from printing your literature to coming and making a stewardship presentation in your church. If you would like to speak with a member of the Stewardship Department concerning this or any stewardship issue we should be very pleased to hear from you. To contact us, please telephone Liz or Charlotte at Diocesan House (01227 459401), or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com (from 1 August 2015)